Francois Lefebvre

Marshal Francois LefebvreFrench Marshal
Duc de Danzig

Straight-speaking and honest, Francois Lefebvre was a loyal and distinguished member of the marshalate.

It took him almost 20 years to go from being a soldier in the royal guard to sergeant but, after the revolution, just 18 months to achieve general of division.

He impressed at Fleurus and spent the next few years on the German front.

One of his biggest achievements, however, came in Paris when during the Coup of Brumaire he marched his troops into the Council of the 500 and probably saved Napoleon Bonaparte from being lynched.

His promotion to marshal came in 1804.

Fighting at Jena as head of the Guard infantry, Lefebvre went on to besiege Danzig and his success led to his ducal title.

From 1808 he campaigned in Spain and won the battles of Durango, Valmaceda and Espinosa against Spanish troops.

Returning to Germany, he led the Bavarians at Abensberg and Eckmuhl before moving into the Tyrol and defeating the Austrians and rebels under Andreas Hofer.

The Russian campaign saw him back in charge of the Old Guard and he fought at Borodino, and later at Dresden and Leipzig during the 1813 Campaign.

During the 1814 defence of France, Lefebvre did exceptionally well at Champaubert and Montmirail.

He was one of the marshals who backed Bonaparte's abdication, but joined with him again for the 100 Days Campaign, after which he spent four years kicking his heels before being restored to his titles by the Bourbons.


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